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25 www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM with her family from Alexandria, Virginia. Her degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched her passion for museums. When her family relo-cated to Hawaii, she took graduate classes in American studies and an internship at Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives in Honolulu. “I was in the education depart-ment and the director was adamant that the education department and the curatorial department work hand-in-hand. Very often they butt heads because their purposes are dif-ferent,” she says. The director explained how the roles are intertwined. The curator ensures the artifacts are taken care of. The educators use the artifact to teach. “That was wonderful because it made it so that I wasn’t just in my education department,” she says. “I worked closely with the curators and understood their viewpoint. So I’m not trained as a curator, but I do understand the principles of that.” As executive director of the museum at Wrightsville Beach, Flagler is involved in both educa-tion and curation. She is always on the lookout for artifacts that convey information about the history of the town, with the challenge of fitting them within a limited space while operating with a limited budget. The original room layout remains — the kitchen exhibit remains popular — but Flagler keeps it fresh with new items both contributed and procured. The sandy play area behind the museum features a lifeguard stand, donated and deliv-ered by the town. A recent display featured new paintings of historic Wrightsville Beach locations, com-missioned from local artists asked to submit works based on photographs of some of the island’s most iconic landmarks.


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